Attorneys for businessman Richard Scrushy and former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman have filed a joint Motion for a New Trial in federal court asking for a court order "vacating their convictions and granting them a new trial...because Defendants were denied their Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial before an impartial jury due to jury exposure to extrinsic evidence and jury misconduct." Also, could an old Scrushy attorney be coming onto this case?More >>
Tuesday, October 10 2006 11:08 PM EDT2006-10-11 03:08:38 GMT
The re-filed Scrushy/Siegelman Motion for a New Trial filed just a little while ago in federal court in Montgomery takes no chances with the identity of jurors following a fiasco with the filing earlier in the weekMore >>
Judge Mark Fuller has denied the motions for judgments of acquittal made by former Governor Don Siegelman and businessman Richard Scrushy.
In his opinion District Judge Mark Fuller says the following:
"The test in considering a motion for judgment of acquittal is whether, viewing all evidence in the light most favorable to the Government and drawing all reasonable inferences from the evidence and credibility choices in favor of the jury's verdict, a reasonable trier of fact could find that evidence established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt...Put another way, to challenge a jury's guilty verdict on the grounds of insufficiency of the evidence, it must be established that "no reasonable jury could have found Defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on the evidence presented." United States v. Ruiz, 253 F.3d 634, 639 (11th Cir. 2001) The evidence may be sufficient even when it does not "exclude every reasonable hypothesis of innocence or [is not] wholly inconsistent with every conclusion except that of guilt," because a "jury is free to choose among reasonable constructions of the evidence." United States v Peters, 403 f.3d 1263, 1268 (11th Cir. 2005)
"Siegelman and Scrushy have presented a variety of arguments in their motions for judgment of acquittal. The Court has carefully considered all of them, as well as the responses to those arguments by the Government. The Court finds that during the course of this very lengthy trial, the Government presented substantial evidence upon which a reasonable trier of fact could conclude that Siegelman and Scrushy engaged in the conduct for which they were convicted."
"Viewing the evidence presented in a light most favorable to the Government, the Court holds that a reasonable jury could find the evidence established the charged offenses...Thus, having applied that test to the evidence presented in this case, the Court has determined that the evidence was sufficient to sustain each Defendant's conviction on each count in the Second Superceding Indictment. Accordingly, this Court finds that Defendants' arguments are without merit and concludes that Defendants' requests for acquittal are to be DENIED."
Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin's only comment was "We expected the ruling that we got."
Scrushy attorney Terry Butts initially had no comment about the ruling but issued a statement through a Scrushy spokesperson: "There are still a number of different motions the Judge has yet to rule on, and we are confident that Richard Scrushy will yet be vindicated."
Original Story Published 2:58 p.m. - 10/02/2006Judge Denies Scrushy/Siegelman Motions for AcquittalMore>>
Continuing Coverage: Richard Scrushy/Don Siegelman